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M. C. A. Hogarth
Name: M. C. A. Hogarth
What's This All About?
My life in text: writing, art, massage therapy, fencing, health, humor and language and culture; ethics and society and personal musing.
Author's Other Websites
Stardancer News
The Pursuit of Beauty
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I'm M.C.A. Hogarth, author and artist. I write fiction (science fiction, fantasy, romance, etc), nonfiction (mostly about business and parenthood) and draw pictures, mostly of dragons, elves and people in beautiful clothes. Below you can see some of what I'm doing currently, and check up on my status.

Latest Kickstarter Project
Nothing planned until 2015!


Writing
Latest E-Fiction: Check out the fiction I have online, what order to read it in and where to buy it. Or have a look at my intended publishing schedule for the year.

Latest Paperback: Laisrathera, Book 3 of Her Instruments. Space opera; in this case, the continuing adventures of irascible merchant Captain Reese Eddings, as she delves deeply (and unwillingly) into space elf politics...

Current Serial: TBA!

Art
Latest Sale: Originals are for sale here. My Zazzle store offers prints, mugs, shirts, bags and such! Otherwise you can keep up on my offers on Livejournal through my "sale" tag.

General:
If you have a lot of spare time and haven't browsed it yet, I have over 3000 images available on my website, sketches, paintings and comics.

Cons: Watch this Space!

Status
Balance Card 5-Card Readings: Not Available
Balance Card Keepsake Paintings: Not Available
Commissions: Not taking them.
Illustration projects: Not taking them.

P.O. Box
Email me for my address, if you'd like to request materials or send a tip or donation.


MCAH Online Home.
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Audiobook Livestream Extravaganza!
Thank you, livestream attendees, for your company! I had a great time chatting with all of you while we listened to the audiobook. The MP3 has been uploaded to my Patreon for those of you who want to toss in a tip to get all the previous hours. If you bought art from the stream, I'll be mailing that to you this week. If you want to buy art from the stream, I... should scan the pieces so you can see what's available. Later. -_-

All the Writing Stuff
Morgan Book 2 is done! Vinny Book 2 is off to layout! YAY!

Other good news: things are looking good for a Transcend paperback! The money seems to have dropped into my lap. More on that as it develops.

Other Great Stuff
Wednesday I have a phone interview with Publisher's Weekly, which wants to run a profile... of me!

...

Of me!

(*does little spastic dance of stunned yay*)

Ahem.

Anyway. That's the news for Monday. Did I mention I finished a novel? I finished a novel! I am so tired! I think I will write fluff projects for a few days before I set up for NaNoWriMo (Morgan, Book 3, here I come. In a little bit. Can you wait a few days? Thank you? Great.)

*fallsover*

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Current Mood: !

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Start Time: 9 PM EST! Probably until 11:30-ish PM.

URL: http://www.livestream.com/mcah

What do I do? Go to that URL, open the chat window, choose a name for yourself and say hi! If you have a Flash/script blocker you will need to unblock the page to see the stream.

Activity of the Night: Listening to Hour 2 of The Worth of a Shell audiobook! Today I'll do 'you as a Jokkad' commissions, if anyone wants them, and otherwise doodling. :)

Hope to see some of you there!

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Current Mood: excited!

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Livestream Commission - Anadi Witch


Lest I be remiss: here is your few-days-warning/reminder: Saturday night, we are streaming the next hour of The Worth of a Shell! Look for details on how to join us on Saturday morning. We had a fantastic time last month! I hope to see lots of you again this month. :)

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Because it wouldn't be a story of mine (even a romance-on-purpose) if there also wasn't an asexual/deep companionship relationship in there somewhere.

     Always Falling was not seeking me, but waiting for me all the same, in that way of the fourth sex: so patient, always, and so complete in themselves. I slid an arm around its shoulders and pressed my nose against its temple, inhaled the incense-scent of its skin. “My best companion,” I murmured.
     “Your only one,” it said, mouth twitching.
     I laughed. “Very well. That also. Come, let us mingle.”

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Current Mood: stealing time with other stories

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...got nothing, because still working, diligently, on all the stuff. So instead, I'll ask World of Warcraft players: how about that patch? My balance druid now melts things. o_O But I've been too scared to play my healers as healers yet. The new models are okay--I miss the draenei waggle, but I like the nelf faces a billion times better. My human main looks a little smarter, which is nice in general, but not appropriate for the character... but there you are. I'm okay with it. Fortunately I have no human male mains because those arms. Ugh. >.>

Flight Rising folks: how about those newbies? And the wolf pelt capes? I haven't designed any new accents lately. I wonder what breed I should do next. Opinions?

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Current Mood: at a loss

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I think I've discovered one of the major factors in 'exhaustion' for me as a writer, and it's feeling like I can't write anything else when I'm in the middle of the big project. There are a lot of reasons why I try not to dilute my focus, but recently I've been playing with letting myself do other writing projects if I hit my daily quota on the things I need to have done.

One of the things I'm messing with is a romance, because about half of the fiction I read is romance and I really like it as a genre. But because I can't seem to do these things normally, I am writing something that is... not marketable.

1. It's straight fantasy, set in a fairly dense world.
2. The romance is between a hermaphrodite and a man.
3. It's written in alternating first person viewpoints.

Not to say it couldn't succeed, but if my goal was to be broadly marketable, I failed at the gate there. Fortunately for me, I am writing for my own entertainment, and at that I am succeeding as the story involves musical intrigue, politics, asexual relationships (the setting also has true neuter humans), and other shenanigans.

I don't know if I'll finish it. But I'm enjoying it. I like the hermaphrodite's voice:

     So its quiet did not surprise me. The predatory focus, though, did. I followed its gaze and pursed my lips. “Well! I have an admirer.”
     Amid the courtiers milling behind the murmuring orchestra was a man. A fierce blade of a man in black silk, and he wore it severely. No showing crepe for him, no salacious invitation, not so much as a piped hem in a different color. His manner matched, all stern angles and scowls. Such a face, though. Exotic in its pallor. Brows distinct and sharp, like calligraphy. Eyes that brooded, cheekbones and jaw so sharp the skin between them was taut as drums. His lips would be full when he wasn’t torturing them by pressing them together so hard. They were dry, too. Such harsh treatment, for such lovely lips.
     Always Falling hadn’t said anything. I slid an arm through its and said, “You don’t think so?”
     It glanced at me repressively. Its eyes skated to my fallen chignon and it sighed, plucking the hairstick from my curled palm. I bent my head meekly, allowing it to twist the mane back up and secure it. Always Falling, always catching me. I loved it dearly, and in every way but one it filled my heart to repletion.


I did some quick sketches too, more because I was thinking about the story than out of any real attempt to get the characters right. Dancer, the hermaphrodite, and Always Falling, the neuter:



I feel like I should leave romance to experts, and I am not one (witness the whole "I can't even pick normal human sexes" problem). But... who knows. Maybe I will finish it and fill some bizarre niche no one knows about yet. -_-

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My sales chart this month looked like some kind of crazy sea creature, so...



I couldn't resist. >.>

(Now if only he didn't look like he was in pain. Tablet drawing fail. >.> )

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Current Mood: amused amused

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A wonderful friend who shall remain nameless bought me a Nutribullet for my birthday, resulting in a mad jaguar smoothie rampage. (You should see the carnage in the kitchen. Stalks of this, bits of rind, bowls of a billion kinds of seeds/nuts/herbs...) Most of my concoctions have been questionable, but I have had six since it arrived on Wednesday, so as you can see I am determined to find at least a handful of go-to recipes. My intention is to replace breakfast with a smoothie, because it's so much easier to toss things into it and clean it than it is to haul out pans/knives/etc to make my usual breakfast. Plus: vegetables!

So far, my most successful one has been:

Half kale
Half pineapple
Several squirts lemon juice
Hunk of fresh ginger
Water

This is a vague duplication of one I've had somewhere else, and it is delicious and refreshing and yow, my palate is burning in the best sort of way with bromelain.

Child drank most of this probiotic-and-coconut fats-and-nuts stealth dessert:

3 tablespoons cocoa powder
Most of a small container of vanilla "yogurt" (the coconut milk one with probiotics)
Honey
Walnuts
Water

I've also discovered that kale and honeydew do pretty well together--my honeydew/blueberry/kale/walnut/cinnamon smoothie would have been pretty drinkable if I'd processed it longer.

Anyway! Hit me with some of your favorites, if you have some.

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I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


Child is into poetry now, so among the more modern, kid-aimed stuff, Spouse has been reading her some of his favorites of the classics. Recently it was "The Road Not Taken," which she apparently listened to with interest. When they were done, Daddy asked her what she thought it was about, and that was a relatively obvious answer ("somebody deciding where to go"). And then, he asked what he thought was down the road not taken.

"Dragons," she said, but not "dragons!" like we do when we like dragons... "Dragons," like we say when we are imagining monsters.

Daddy goes on to nod and agree that monsters can be scary, which puts Child on the track of imagining scary things, and then she says, suddenly, "What if it's not dragons? What if there's nothing down the road?"

Just like that. The Road Not Taken, immortalized in modern culture as symbol of the courage and virtue of the rugged individualist, the trendsetter unafraid of leaving all society behind, completely inverted. What if there's nothing down the road? What if you go and you succeed and you leave everyone and everything behind? All the things in society that itch and don't fit right and that you think are stupid... abandoned along with all the things that it gives you, in silence, with neither your notice nor your appreciation: friends, family, love, support, camaraderie, material wealth you could never achieve on your own because you'd be too busy trying to hold everything together. I see the road through Daughter's eyes, and it's lonely.

Nothing. What if there's nothing, but you? Is that enough?

Worse than dragons and monsters. You made the brave choice, and found no treasure at the end of the road, and only regret. It made all the difference.

...

Where does she come up with these things?

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These tweets were popular yesterday (as popular as some of the honey badger cartoons), so I am reproducing them here for those of you who aren't on twitter.










That's all I got today.
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It is now official—my parents are taking us to London next year during Daughter's Easter Break! We are reprising a family trip we made when I was nine, with my parents and grandparents; my parents want to do it this time as the third generation rather than the second.

So! I'd like to know how many UK readers I have, and if any of them would like to show up somewhere for coffee. If there are a dozen of you in the area, that's a different matter for planning than, say, one!

(Also, recommendations for cool places/restaurants/etc welcome! Keep in mind I am traveling with three generations of folks, one of whom will be seven years old.)

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ALL THE EXCERPTS. In case, you know, you wanted to read teasers.

Morgan, Book 2: The Get (or Fruit?) of Royal Bloodshed Read more...Collapse )

Vinny, Book 2: Vinny the Armadillo's Not Afraid of the Dark Read more...Collapse )

Field Research (Kis'eh't's "origin" story) Read more...Collapse )

Unnamed Jokka Story Set After the Stone Moon Trilogy Read more...Collapse )

"Field Research" was sold to Fred Patten for his Furplanet anthology, which I think is supposed to be out by January next year, so there's that. The Jokka short is barely started and I have no idea what to do with it... who buys short fiction from me anymore? Vinny's in the can, I'm just working up the final spot illustrations/cover for it. Morgan's finally in the endgame for this particular book. So that's what I've got.

I'm also contemplating writing a short romance novella, something I can market to that audience, but alas the only idea I've got is set in my "humans have four sexes" setting and the goal was to make the thing broadly marketable, not "appeals only to people who find hermaphrodites and neuters sexy rather than off-putting." *sigh*

Anyway. I am still puttering along, as you can see. I only got one cylinder, but I am totally workin' it.

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Current Mood: working working
Current Music: NIN - Everything

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"Guess what, Mommy," she says, showing up at my elbow with eyes all a-gleam. I recognize the look. So does my wallet: I can already feel it cringing.

Obedient to the ritual, I reply, "What?"

"I lost another tooth," she says. "See?"

"Another tooth! This is the third in a week and a half!"

"I know!" she says, smug, and skips off to prepare for bed. As she joins her father, I hear him say, "Another tooth!"

"It's like my mouth is a bank!" she exclaims. "I open it and I get money!"

The teeth fairies confer after Daughter's gone to bed. We've established that the fairy gives at least $5, and I only have $1. Daddy has a $10 bill. "We'll figure it out," he says, and I sigh and go to bed because ATM runs at 10 PM are not going to happen after the days we put in. I need to remember to start packing more cash in my wallet since apparently all of Daughter's teeth are abandoning ship.

In the morning, Daughter shows up at my elbow again, beaming. "Guess what."

We resume the ritual. "What?"

"The tooth fairy left me TEN DOLLARS. Ten dollars!"

"Wow," I say. "You're rich! The poor tooth fairy's going to run out of money if your teeth keep falling out!"

"Oh, Mommy. The tooth fairy can't run out of money! This is her job!"

I peer at Daughter. "She's giving you money, not the other way around."

"No, no," Daughter says. "Other fairies pay the tooth fairy to leave the money for children, because they're too far away to do it themselves."

"They do?" I say, bemused.

"Of course," she says, and skips off.

Later, in the car, I say abruptly, "So why does the tooth fairy want teeth?"

"I don't know," Child says. She considers—which takes her all of a heartbeat—then pops out with, "Maybe because they're fairies. They don't have teeth. So they use the teeth of children instead."

"Oh, I see. And because they're fairies and fairies are small, they don't want big people teeth."

"Exactly."

"That makes sense," I say, because what can you say to that? And we disembark so I can escort her to her classroom.

So there you have it. Telecommuting fairies pay local fairies to do their meatspace errands, collecting used teeth to make fairy dentures. A very new world economy solution to a supernatural healthcare problem. You may now picture an adorable butterfly-winged fairy with an overbite caused by two mismatched, cavity-cored toddler eyeteeth.

You're welcome. >.>

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Current Mood: bemused